A smart looking, secure and stiff trail stem, but the shortest option won’t be short enough for some people
What they say: Tharsis components are named after the highest mountain range in our solar system (on Mars), these ultimate trail /all-mountain components are optimised for maximum performance and reliability
What it is: PRO is a component sub-brand of Shimano and the Tharsis line of components, covering stems, handlebars, seatposts, saddles and grips, is named after the highest mountain range on Mars. Just in case you were in any doubt as to the origins of the name.
With that cleared up, let’s take a look at the Tharsis stem. It’s made by forging a lump of 7075-T6 aluminium, then CNC machining it. It’s an purposeful looking stem with large size and clean angles. It looks good on most bikes, and especially partnered with the similarly styled handlebar and seatpost.
The oversized hexagonal body flares at the clamp area to provide a large contact surface area with the handlebars, contributing to a high level of stiffness. Four bolts hold the front plate onto the stem body, with a gapless and interlocking design to reduce stress and provide great security.
A split steerer tube clamp area with two angled bolts ensures a clean and smooth area so you’re never likely to catch your knee on a protruding bolt.
You can choose from 60, 70, 80 and 90mm lengths, each with a zero degree rise. The faceplate has excess material removed to save some weight. Despite its hefty looks, it’s not all that heavy, a 60mm stem weighing 149g.
Who it’s good for: The PRO Tharsis stem is a stiff and reasonably light stem ideal for trail riders looking to boost the front-end stiffness of their bikes, and want a stem that offers the added security that the gapless and interlocking faceplate design provides. It won’t be short enough for some mountain bikers, but for the majority, the four length options will be adequate.